MLB Pitcher’s Bizarre Travel Hang-up
MLB Pitcher’s Bizarre Travel Hang-up, Despite growing up there, Ryan Dempster wasn’t able to go back to Canada. 10 Degrees: Ryan Dempster’s travel travails are among obstacles faced by the upwardly mobile, One day a guy’s gurgling seawater on a sinking ship, the next he’s sipping bubbly in a pe*****se suite. That might apply to me taking the reins of 10 Degrees while my estimable colleague Jeff Passan attends yet another wedding of yet another friend, but I’m referring to players traded from a loser to a contender at midseason.
A ballplayer’s overnight journey from the wretched to the wonderful sounds like bliss, but it can be jarring. Expectations rise, pressure mounts and unfamiliarity can make performing well a challenge. A guy can become so distracted, for example, that he has passport issues and is unable to accompany his team to Canada to play the Blue Jays.
Even when said player, Texas Rangers pitcher Ryan Dempster, grew up in Canada.
Dempster’s travel problem, reported via tweet by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, is especially odd because he lived in Gibsons, British Columbia, until graduating from high school in 1995.
Could Dempster have immigration or other concerns that make it difficult or unwise for him to return to Canada? He last pitched there in 2002. He didn’t shed light on it after his start Monday, an eight-inning stint in a victory over the Orioles that went much better than his first three outings with the Rangers. And neither did team president Nolan Ryan, who said during a radio interview that Dempster “was a victim, and we were a victim of circumstances. I’m not at liberty to talk about it.”
Dempster went from the awful Chicago Cubs to Texas on July 31, the last day teams could make trades without first putting a player through waivers. With the Cubs he was having the best season of his 15-year career, posting a 2.25 ERA in 16 starts including a string of 33 consecutive scoreless innings. With the Rangers he gave up an unsightly eight earned runs twice in his first three starts. But after getting extra rest because he couldn’t make his scheduled start in Toronto, Dempster gave up only four hits and one run Monday. His ERA with Texas is now 6.04, hardly glowing but perhaps headed in the right direction.